Promote healthy riverbank management

Promote healthy riverbank management

REGIONAL. The 8th annual St. Lawrence River Estuary Regional Concertation Table (TCREF) Forum took place on February 21st. The event was organized by the ZIP Les Deux Rives Committee, an organization that coordinates the TCREF, and had the theme “Let’s promote healthy riverbank management.”

Six speakers took the floor to present the state of the banks around the St. Lawrence River, the regulations aimed at stabilizing the banks and the environmentally conscious initiatives in this area. More than sixty participants attended the forum and had the opportunity to interview these professionals. They also attended a consultation workshop to better understand the needs in the MRC area.

The first conference was held by Jean-François Bernier, researcher at the University of Laval. The focus was on implementing a method to monitor riparian mobility in a riparian environment over several years on a portion of the St. Lawrence River. Illustrative examples of the problems in the TCREF field enabled a better understanding of the physical processes thanks to existing bench characterization tools.

This conference made it possible to set the table for the advisory workshop on bank stabilization issues in river communities. The main ideas mentioned in this workshop are: harmonization between municipal regulations and conservation, characterization of environments to better understand local dynamics, raising residents' awareness of riparian use and supporting local residents in approaching integrated riparian management.

Ophélie Drevet, environmental consultant, and Hubert Plamondon, water and natural sector analyst at the Ministry of Environment, Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks (MELCCFP), then demystified the regulations in force related to the implementation of projects in wet areas, water and sensitive environments. These include the Regulation on the Monitoring of Activities Due to their Effects on the Environment (REAFIE) and the Regulation on Activities in Wet, Aqueous and Sensitive Environments (RAMHHS) of the Water Quality Act (LQE), which were explained.

Julie Royer, biologist at MELCCFP, discussed the Act's Wildlife Habitat Regulations, which respect the conservation and development of wildlife and must also be taken into account when carrying out work in fish habitat. It emerged from these presentations that the existing regulations, which supplement the municipal regulations, are not always easy to understand, but allow them to be adapted to the respective situation.

Guillaume Delair, project coordinator at the ZIP Les Deux Rives Committee, presented a project of the organization on the topic: Portfolio of environmentally sustainable and resilient bank stabilization solutions adapted to the river in the Portneuf region. This project made it possible to establish a committee of multidisciplinary experts, an engineer, a forestry engineer and a biologist, to create standard stabilization plans according to the various erosion problems of the region. The project also met municipalities, the MRC, residents and entrepreneurs working on this issue in the region.

The most recent conference was delivered by Charles White, Director of Environmental and Geosciences at Cima+. Mr. White presented the benefits of plant engineering and mixed techniques on banks, as well as their advantages and limitations. To illustrate the theory and show that there are different design methods, the company's successes in using phytotechnologies were presented. The presentation showed that bank stabilization can be done in harmony with the natural environment and that there is still room for innovation to test various physical constraints of the river environment. (SP)